Tags: gop | al franken | minnesota | senate

GOP Sees Franken's Minnesota Seat as Potential 'Game-Changer'

Image: GOP Sees Franken's Minnesota Seat as Potential 'Game-Changer'
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. (Alex Brandon/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 07 Dec 2017 04:49 PM

GOP strategists believe a special election to replace resigning Sen. Al Franken could be a "total game-changer" for control of the Senate next year, NBC News reported.

The Minnesota Democrat's seat was not supposed to be up again until 2020 in a state President Donald Trump lost by less than 2 percentage points, the outlet noted.

But Franken's resignation amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct is viewed as offering Republicans a chance for a "total game-changer in terms of control of the Senate — if we field a strong candidate," GOP strategist Alex Conant told NBC News.

According to NBC News, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty could be that dream candidate after former Sen. Norm Coleman, who lost his seat to Franken by a few hundred votes in 2008, said Thursday he will not run.

"Everybody in Minnesota on the Republican side is extremely eager to hear from Tim Pawlenty," Josh Holmes, a Republican strategist and former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. — and who is from Minnesota — told NBC News.

"He would be a spectacular candidate if he would consider it," adding Franken's exit "shifts the landscape" for control of the Senate.

"It's certainly a purple state and one that with the right candidate Republicans could compete to win," Holmes told NBC News.

In the interim, Gov. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., will appoint a successor to Franken who will serve until January 2019. But the winner of a 2018 special election will finish the final two years of the six-year term Franken won in 2014, NBC News noted.

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Sen. Al Franken's, D-Minn., resignation amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct is viewed as offering Republicans a chance for a "total game-changer in terms of control of the Senate — if we field a strong candidate," GOP strategist Alex Conant told NBC News.
gop, al franken, minnesota, senate
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2017-49-07
Thursday, 07 Dec 2017 04:49 PM
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